tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer winding down in Pacheco, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it this year, it could be full of mud and debris from your yard. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out more quickly.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally maintained annually. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility costs.

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and handle slight issues before they become costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform includes:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Reviewing lines, refrigerant levels and connections

It’s not too late to have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some maintenance you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several pieces on your indoor HVAC system.

Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?

How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit

Choose a temperate day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can check the unit once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a few things:

  • Wet-dry vacuum and hose with a soft brush attachment
  • Screwdriver
  • Butter knife
  • Damp rag
  • Small, round paintbrush
  • Replacement furnace filter (if necessary)

Related: How AC Repair and Maintenance Can Actually Save You Money

5 Steps to Clean the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Switch off the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Empty waste from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then use the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also called as condenser coils and move heat away from your equipment.

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Misshapen or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten bent fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Clean Air HVAC should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then clean the inside of the equipment with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, showering water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating properly, give us a call at 925-233-6238.

Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be changed every few months, depending on the model you use.

Not sure when you last checked yours? Take it out and hold it up to the light. If light isn’t visible, get a new one.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can clean it by pouring thinned bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and restore power.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall

Never Forget a Tune-Up Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from Clean Air HVAC can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your annual service!

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